The other day Rick Warren tweeted this:
The single most powerful tool for getting God’s guidance and defeating temptation is memorized Scripture.
That’s so convicting. I’ve done a horrible job of this in recent years.
Who would have ever imagined twenty years ago that the storage- unit business would end up being a billion-dollar industry? The typical American has accumulated so much stuff, we have to pay to store the overflow.
What’s interesting is that we’ve each been created with a mental storage unit as well—our brains. But while the storage capacity of the human brain is quite large, it’s not infinite. And most of us find our mental storerooms cluttered from the constant barrage of “content” we are bombarded with.
It’s widely reported that the average person is bombarded with some three thousand marketing messages a day. While there is some debate on the number,5 no one disputes that normal life for most Americans includes a constant barrage of messages that are strategically designed to create a vision of the good life:
• “Eat this.”
• “Drive this.”
• “Say this.”
• “Wear this.”
• “Think this.”
• “Spend this.”
• “Buy this.”
In each and every case, the good life supposedly requires whatever product or service the marketing masters happen to be offering. Whether we’re aware of it or not, these messages and images are piling up in our mental storage units. And—this is the really impor- tant point—all of that stuff we store in our brains affects the way we think and act.
Jesus had a few things to say about how this works.
Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. (Matt. 12:33–35)
The principle here is pretty obvious. If what you can’t see, the inside of the tree, is healthy, then the fruit, the stuff you can see, will be healthy also. If the inside is bad, then the fruit is going to be bad.
You see, Jesus’ ultimate goal was not to create a list of rules that would help us live a better life. He understood that spiritual trans- formation is all about internal changes that will eventually affect the way you live. It’s about choosing what we accumulate in our mental storage units.
This principle is why I believe it’s so essential for me to immerse myself in Scripture. It’s my way of storing up “good things” in my mind and heart. I’m aware of a profound need to have the words of God feed my soul and teach me all the things that I should know.
How about you? How are you storing up good things?